Targa Miata
February 4, 2007 - Brandon Fitch of Flyin' Miata was also on hand to help out with the cage construction.
He's cutting out some gussets to allow us to tie the cage to the windshield frame for maximum stiffness. Plasma cutters are fun!
entry 38 - tags: safety, stiffness
February 4, 2007 - One of the gussets in place.
Before these were welded in, the windshield frame could be moved slightly independently of the cage. Now, there's no chance.
entry 39 - tags: safety, stiffness
February 4, 2007 - The frame rail reinforcements were bolted in.
You can also see the backing plate for the cage. Between the gusseted cage, the seam welding and these braces the Miata is solid as a rock. The chassis of the car is now ready for paint.
entry 40 - tags: stiffness
February 20, 2007 - The fuel and brake lines in place.
They're well protected by the armored frame rail. The lowest of these lines is the rear brake line - it will be rerouted along the top of the transmission tunnel for the proportioning valve.
entry 75 - tags: brakes, stiffness
August 14, 2007 - So, how does it drive?
The engine isn't fully tuned yet so the car doesn't have full power, nor does it like to idle much. But ignoring those little foibles, it's a blast. The car is conspicuously light. It's surprising just how much difference an extra 300 lbs can make to a car, but it will happily surge forward on even just a tickle of the throttle. Even in the semi-tuned state there's a real snap to the throttle response. The car wants to run, and the short gearing exaggerates this.
The power steering is very light. A bit too light, perhaps. I'll try disabling it to see how that feels and if I'd want to deal with hundreds of kilometers of shattered roads without it.
The car is very rigid, with absolutely no flex - even compared to a modified Miata with a butterfly brace, structural foam in the frame rails and a rollbar. Amazingly, there are no rattles although there's a fair bit of noise and vibration through the uninsulated chassis and competition motor mounts. It's also rather warm inside as the engine and exhaust heat gets nicely transmitted. I'll have to do something about that.
The springs are stiff, but the Íhlins shocks control them very well. It'll be interesting to see how well that works on the track even without sway bars.
In short, the car is a ball to drive. It's a reminder that it's not just a Miata with a cool paint job.
entry 291 - tags: testing, stiffness, suspension
February 25, 2011 - The frame rails have arrived.
That cross bar will support the T5 transmission. As an added bonus, these rails will help protect the bottom of the car and provide an excellent jacking location.
entry 795 - tags: stiffness, conversion